by Steven Ertelt
October 24, 2006
Sacramento, CA (LifeNews.com) — Both pro-life and abortion advocates are targeting Hispanic voters, who are traditionally pro-life, in their efforts to campaign on Proposition 85. Each side hopes Hispanics will support their position on whether or not parents should be told when their minor daughter is considering an abortion.
One leading Hispanic religious official says he thinks Latino voters will vote for the measure because they are pro-life and family oriented.
"In the Hispanic community, family is primary," said Father Marcos Gonzales, associate pastor at the Holy Family Church in Glendale. "Parents want to know what is going on in their children’s lives. It’s incomprehensible a child can undergo something so serious and they can be kept out of the loop."
Xochitl Chavez, a Catholic hairdresser who is a Democrat, is the kind of voter both sides want to attract
The mother of a teenage daughter, she told KFSN-TV that most Hispanics oppose abortion.
"Maybe 85 or 90% of Latinos are Catholic and we don’t believe in abortion," she said.
Knowing, that the pro-life group supporting the parental notification measure is reaching out to Latino voters. They have fliers written in Spanish and have done advertising in Spanish-language versions of Catholic newspapers.
Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles has taped a radio message in Spanish to help the efforts.
But Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business and the group leading the campaign against the parental notification effort, is targeting Hispanics as well.
KFSN reports the group has a new television commercial and, though it is not in Spanish, the group is using door-to-door campaign in heavily Hispanic neighborhoods where the commercial is being shown.
Kathy Kneer of Planned Parenthood of California claims that tactic is working to change the minds of Hispanic voters.
She told KFSN that "74% of the end of our conversation at the door say they re going to vote no. So, it’s easy. This is not a hard sell in the Latino community."
Her organization has launched the "Proteccion y Securidad" — "Protection and Security" campaign and trains pro-abortion Hispanic volunteers to walk local neighborhoods and claim that Proposition 85 will put teenagers at risk.
"Proposition 85 would endanger young Latinas who are afraid of talking to their parents," Planned parenthood literature claims.
But Sister Rosa Gonzales of the Resurrection Church east of downtown Los Angeles, says she sees the opposite view when she talks to Hispanic voters and told the Sacramento Bee that Hispanics are faithful to their pro-life, Catholic beliefs and will support the measure.
Pastor Steve Niskanen of Our Lady Queen of Angels is representative of the liberal, Democratic pro-life views most Hispanics in the Los Angeles area have. He combines pro-life arguments with anti-war ones in his sermons, the Bee reports.
"I mention 85 in the context of a wider net of pro-life issues, including opposition to war and euthanasia," Niskanen says.
According to the Bee, the campaign for prop 85 has raised more than $2.6 million while Planned Parenthood has raised more than $3.8 million to oppose the measure and expects millions more.
A new poll out last week has the California initiative essentially tied because the results are within the margin of error. The new poll, conducted by Datamar Inc., shows 46.3 percent of California residents back Proposition 85 while 45.2 percent opposed it.
The survey shows decline in support for the parental notification proposal from 48.5 to 46.3 percent from a September Datamar poll. Opposition to the measure is up from 42 percent in September.
Other polls have shown a close race as well and an August Field Poll showed voters split 45 to 44 against Proposition 85.